Can You Plant Calla Lily in Pond? Tips for Your Water Garden

A friend recently asked me if she could grow a Calla Lily in pond water. After providing my answer, I thought I would also share it in this article for readers of Petals And Hedges.  

Calla Lilies are marginal aquatic flowers. They thrive best near bodies of water where the soil tends to be moist. That’s why Calla Lilies are considered a great choice to plant near and in ponds.

There are a few things you need to do before you’re able to plant your Calla Lily in a pond. In the following sections, we’re going to discuss all the steps to go through before you can enjoy your Calla Lilies!

white calla lily with garden background

Can You Plant and Grow Calla Lilies in a Pond? 

Calla Lilies can be planted in ponds; specifically at the margin of the pond. You can plant Calla Lilies inside a pot and place it by the stream with around one inch of water above its roots. 

Calla Lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica) are tropical, marginal flowers. They tend to grow well in zones 8 through 11 because of the warmer weather conditions there. 

Similarly, they will also thrive more when planted in moist soil with plenty of sunlight available. These characteristics make them one of the better flower species to plant near a pond. 

You can also plant them inside a pond. However, by doing this, the Calla Lilies might access too much water, and even though Calla Lilies like moist soil, too much of it will end up causing their roots to rot. 

This will eventually lead to the plant withering away and dying. That’s why it’s preferred to only plant them right outside of the pond rather than directly inside it.

One thing to keep in mind is how poisonous Calla Lilies are. If accidentally ingested by humans or animals, they can be quite toxic. That said, if you own any pets or have any children around, make sure to keep them away from the flower after planting. 

Calla Lilies are also known to be toxic for fish. So if you plan to plant Calla Lilies inside a pond with fish inhabitants, you’ll need to place the Calla Lilies out of your fish’s reach to avoid them eating any parts of the plant.

two calla lilies over a pond and rocks

Things to Know Before Planting Your Calla Lilies in Ponds

Before you start planting your Calla Lilies, you need to figure out which USDA zone you’re currently living in. This is to determine the position you’re going to plant your flowers in. 

For example, if you’re living in zones 8 through 11, the summer sun might be a little too hot for your Calla Lilies to handle. In this case, you’ll need to find a location by your pond where your Calla Lily can get both sunlight and shade. 

If you live in any zones lower than 8, it’s better to find the place with the most sunlight to plant your flowers. You’ll also need to plant them in a way that makes digging them up for overwintering easy. 

Planting Calla Lilies in Ponds: Step-By-Step Guide

Now, you might be wondering, how exactly do you plant Calla Lilies correctly in a pond? You’ll just need a pot or container to place your Calla Lilies in, an aquatic fertilizer, and your pond! 

Planting Calla Lilies Near a Pond

  1. The first step you’re going to do is find the perfect location for your Calla Lilies. 
  2. Next up, bring your container and place your Calla Lily bulbs inside.
  3. Start filling your container with soil; preferably loam soil to allow the water to drain easily.
  4. Keep the growing part of the bulb facing upwards and let it peak slightly out of the soil.
  5. Add in some organic fertilizers to your soil. 
  6. If the pond is deep, you can dig a spot to place the container in by the edge of the pond. If it’s not, you can place the pot directly into the pond.
  7. Make sure the water is only around one inch above your plant’s root.

Another way you can plant your Calla Lily near a pond is by directly planting it in the soil. It’s best to keep it at a two-inch depth and to make sure that the soil is moist. 

There are some situations when the soil will lose all its moisture. In this case, you can start watering your Calla Lilies instead of depending on your pond’s water. 

Be sure to always check if it’s receiving enough water or your Calla Lily might die. 

Planting Calla Lilies Inside a Pond

Though not recommended, you can also plant your Calla Lilies inside your pond. But as we’ve mentioned before, overwatering Calla Lilies will end with them withering away. So it’s preferred to plant them outside the pond. 

With that in mind, if you’d like to plant them inside, you’ll just need to dig a spot inside the pond’s floor, then place the Calla Lily bulb inside with the growing part facing upwards. 

You can also place it inside an aquatic planter and plant it in the middle of the pond. This would be a better way to plant it than to directly plant it in the pond’s soil. Be sure that the water only reaches one inch above the roots.

White Callas lilies at the corner of a pond

How to Know If Your Calla Lilies Are Overwatered?

Even though Calla Lilies love moist soil and water, too much water will harm them. Figuring out that your Calla Lilies are overwatered will be easy. It’ll usually be visibly evident on the plant with the stem turning yellow. This is a sign that the roots are starting to rot from too much water. 

To help your Calla Lily, you’ll need to remove it from the pot it’s in and also remove the soil. If you could, replace the soil with a new dry one. If not, then spread the soil on a sheet to dry for one to two days. Once you’re sure that it’s all dried up, you can go ahead and repot your Calla Lilies. 

Do this if your Calla Lilies aren’t completely rotten yet. If you notice any parts of the bulb rot, remove them with scissors or a knife before repotting your Calla Lily. If the entire bulb is rotten, then it’s unfortunately too late to save. 

Can You Keep Calla Lilies In Ponds During Winter?

The last thing we’re going to discuss is whether you should leave your Calla Lily in its place for winter or if it’s better to remove it. 

As we’ve mentioned before, Calla Lilies prefer warm temperatures, so keeping them outside during winter can cause them to wither and die. 

However, if you’re living in the warmer side of the world or in a USDA zone 8 or up, you can keep your Calla Lily out during winter without any worries as the temperature isn’t likely to get too cold for the Calla Lilies to handle. 

If you live in any zone under 8. Then once you notice the temperature dropping, dig out all your Calla Lilies to store away for winter. This process is called overwintering and it usually consists of cutting off the Calla Lilies stem and leaving only the bulb, drying it out for a week, then storing it away in a dark room. The temperature should be around 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Avoid leaving it in any colder rooms to avoid the bulbs dying. Once spring arrives, you can take out the bulbs to replant again. 

Final Words on Planting Calla Lily in Ponds

Calla Lilies are some of the most beloved garden flowers, and rightfully so. They’re beautiful and easy to maintain. This is why many of us would love to have them decorating our ponds. 

Though there are a few things to keep in mind before planting them near a pond or in one, now that we’ve reached the end of the article, we hope that you have all the information you need to grow healthy and beautiful Calla Lilies in your pond!